Our Dionysian Mysteries are monthly celebrations echoing rituals of ancient Greece that brought participants to euphoria through transcendental dance and music and served to remove inhibitions and social constraints. These encounters were in homage to the God of wine, festivity and ritual madness, Dionysus.
Our intention is to close each month in celebration and ecstasy, liberating the divine within through abundant banquets, transcendental dance and captivating music as we step into a new cycle.
For this edition, on Saturday, June 25th, we welcome the following acts to join us in our beach temple:
The Dionysian Mysteries were rituals of Ancient Greece and Rome that brought participants to ecstasy through intoxicating wine and trans-inducing techniques such as music and dance.
An ‘invocation of spirit’, this communal dancing to traditional instruments such as the drum and pipe was invigorating, cathartic and transformative, appealing to the marginalised and outcast. These rituals became a tool through which individuals freed themselves from social inhibitions, liberating themselves from civilisation’s rules and constraints, escaping socialised personalities and ego and taking refuge in an ecstatic, deified realm of the mystical and transcendental.
As a means to communicate with the dead, these sacred performances were based on a seasonal death-rebirth theme, often aligned with local agriculture cycles, and served a crucial role in the developing ritual tradition for new beginnings and life transitions attached to the coming of age and citizenship. Dionysus became the guardian of rites of passage into new roles.
The disinhibiting nature of wine became a vital component in the Dionysian Mysteries as it was believed to bring happiness and ease suffering, and inspired divine madness to those who drank it; a result of its possession by the god’s spirit. Dionysus was concerned with the full life cycle of the grapevine, from its cultivation to the fermentation of its wine.
Dionysus, a tall and handsome man illustrated with grapes in his hair and vines between his fingers, known to be as charming as he is *dangerous*, with a reputation as the *maker of merry & madness*, this Greek God tells a story of intoxicating and transcendental celebration. God of the grape harvest, winemaking, vegetation, fertility, insanity, festivity, and ritual madness, in a way Dionysus becomes the beast-god within, a personification for the unconscious mind where our shadows reside.
Son of Zeus and Semele, Dionysus was one of the 12 Olympian gods who lived on Mount Olympus, yet unique in that his mother was a mortal. He left his birthplace Thrace to travel abroad until his meanderings eventually led him to Greece as a foreigner, an attribute that became inherent and essential to his identity and cult; he would later be known as a god of epiphany.
His special powers were of making wine, causing vines to grow, and restoring life to the dead. His most powerful gift is believed to have been his capability to make mortals. Later known as Bacchus by the Romans, Dionysus was told to induce bakkheia as he liberated his people from constraining self-conscious fears and limiting beliefs of society through wine, music and ecstatic dance rituals.